Breathlessly described by the Recording Academy as “music’s biggest night,” the 66th Grammy Awards are now in the books. Hosted by Trevor Noah and featuring performances from a mix of young stars and old-timers including SZA, Joni Mitchell, Olivia Rodrigo, Billy Joel, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Travis Scott and U2, this year’s Grammys crowned Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” album of the year.
Other top prizes in a very strong year for women went to Eilish, SZA, Victoria Monét, Boygenius and Miley Cyrus. Catch up on everything you missed by reading Vanessa Franko’s live updates from the earlier Premiere Ceremony and Mikael Wood and August Brown’s thoughts on the prime-time telecast.
8:40 p.m. Swift’s victory was more or less a fait accompli. The academy has always loved Swift, whose career exists at the intersection of commercial success and artistic ingenuity. But the way she dominated pop culture in 2023 left voters with little choice but to give her the big prize tonight. My problem with the choice is that “Midnights” is not as good as Swift albums that didn’t win album of the year — here’s looking at you, “Red” — and it’s also not as good as other albums that came out in the eligibility period for this Grammys ceremony. (SZA’s “SOS” was the finest to drop, and it’s not close.) But, hey, we could do a lot worse as a culture than to have our most famous and decorated entertainer be a woman as sharp and as perceptive — and as absurdly productive — as Taylor Swift. The Super Bowl’s gonna be wild, huh? — M.W.
Taylor Swift won album of the year at the 2024 Grammy Awards, setting a new record for the most wins by an artist in the ceremony’s most prestigious category.
Swift is probably the most famous woman on the planet, the most accomplished Grammy album artist of her generation, a commercial force unlike any other. No one can dispute the scale of her achievements as a writer, performer and pop star. But now we’ve entered into a whole new realm of debate — where does she land in the arc of pop history now that she has bested artists like Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon to win a fourth album of the year award? How does the lens of her insane fame affect how we view “Midnights” now (to my ear, a good entry into a formidable catalog, but not her best album or the best LP nominated this year)? How will we view this achievement in decades to come, when her commercial phenomenon has changed and the music can stand more on its own absent the gale of mega-celebrity? I’m an in-the-tank Swiftie generally, but this award now pushes her beyond the Grammy achievements of the likes of “Songs In The Key of Life,” and I suspect that this win is going to feel more complicated as years roll on. Now there’s a whole new debate about her place in music history, one that she’s probably just as self-conscious of as anyone. — A.B.
8:29 p.m. Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” wins album of the year, making her the first artist to take the Grammys’ most prestigious prize four times. Celine Dion is here to present album amid her struggle with stiff person syndrome. She won the prize in 1997 with “Falling Into You.” — M.W.
8:24 p.m. Sorry — sorry! — but this Billy Joel song is a slog. — M.W.
I think it’s sweet that they let Olivia Rodrigo’s beloved Billy Joel take his own crack at performing on the Grammy stage. — A.B.
8:20 p.m. Record of the year — to clarify, it basically means single of the year — goes to Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers.” For ages, Grammy voters seemed suspicious of Cyrus, perhaps because of her Disney Channel past, but they went for the retro-disco “Flowers” in a big way. And yet: “Please don’t think that this is important,” Cyrus says in her speech, telling viewers that she was perfectly happy without the award. (Big Fiona Apple energy.) Then she admits that she might’ve forgotten to wear underwear to the show. — M.W.
8:17 p.m. Mark Ronson and Meryl Streep explaining the difference between album and record of the year: cute bit! — M.W.
8:05 p.m. Victoria Monét takes best new artist, a not-quite-surprising win even if she lacks the pop-cultural profile of a Jelly Roll or an Ice Spice. A deeply crafty singer and songwriter who worked behind the scenes for years before she stepped out on her own, Monét makes clever throwback R&B that reminds voters of old classics even as she nods to the modern circumstances of her life; she’s also tight with producer D’Mile, a Grammy-fave studio wizard with close ties to Bruno Mars, who couldn’t lose a Grammy if he tried. In her speech she thanks both the Champagne servers at Crypto.com Arena and her single mom for “raising this really bad girl.” Well done. — M.W.
8:02 p.m. Good on Trevor Noah for touting fellow South African singer Tyla in the telecast — “Water” rules, and it’s a great win for the debut African Music Performance category this year. — A.B.
She’s penned hits for the likes of Ariana Grande and Blackpink. Now, Victoria Monét takes centerstage with debut album ‘Jaguar II’ and a solo tour.
7:52 p.m. “Music must always be our safe space,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. says in his address — language that makes you wonder whether Joe Rogan snuck into the scriptwriters’ Google doc in an attempt to further alienate “regular folks” from the coastal elites of show business. — M.W.
We need a string quartet to dramatically accompany our weekly Times music team pitch meetings. — A.B.
7:43 p.m. I take back the nice words I said about Grammys producer Ben Winston. That Travis Scott performance was an embarrassment. — M.W.
Small mercy that Scott didn’t bring out Kanye West for that, like he’s been doing on tour recently? A pretty lackluster set from one of the most intense physical performers in rap. — A.B.
7:36 p.m. I think my favorite part of the Great Joni Mitchell Comeback — including the gorgeous rendition of “Both Sides Now” that we just saw her give on the Grammys stage — is how lightly invested Mitchell herself seems in the endeavor. I don’t mean that the wildly influential singer-songwriter isn’t enjoying these gigs she’s been playing since blowing the world’s mind in 2022 with an unannounced set at the Newport Folk Festival, her first public performance since she suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm in 2015. But every time I’ve seen her onstage lately, either in person or on a screen, she’s seemed to be there because someone made it sound like a good time. Isn’t it wonderful to think that, were everyone to stop caring tomorrow — or were Mitchell herself to decide that some other adventure held more promise — she’d just go about her day doing her thing in happiness? — M.W.
Note the sheer range of people with hot tears in their eyes in the crowd during that performance — Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, Karol G. What a gift to see her in 2024, with such a generosity of spirit and young friends to help her realize it. We’re able to laud her while she’s there to receive it, and see these songs many never got to see performed, and watch so many generations of artists realize the living history and grace of what they’re watching. — A.B.
7:21 p.m. Lionel Richie! That it’s — that’s the tweet. He presents song of the year to Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell, for “What Was I Made For?” from the “Barbie” movie. This is the siblings’ second win in the category, which puts them in a class with the likes of Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer and Bruno Mars. — M.W.
Well deserved song of the year win for Billie and Finneas, but it’s still wild that this is Taylor Swift’s seventh shutout in a category she, more than almost any pop star alive, would be a front-runner to win any time she’s entered. — A.B.
Billie Eilish’s ‘What Was I Made For?’, co-written with her brother Finneas O’Connell, has transcended the smash-hit film it arrived with.
7:12 p.m. Serious dad flex: Accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award, Jay-Z mentions that he used to use a Grammy for a sippy cup for his daughter Blue Ivy, then adds that he doesn’t need to now because Blue Ivy is all grown-up — and she has a Grammy of her own. — M.W.
“I don’t wanna embarrass this young lady but … most Grammys and no album of the year, how does that work?” Jay-Z picking up the sword of truth to become the ultimate Grammys Wife Guy in contesting Beyoncé’s abominable snub last year. He’s right and right to say it there! — A.B.
“When I get nervous I tell the truth,” Jay-Z says, and though I’m not sure he was really nervous, he was definitely telling the truth. — M.W.
Racism, sexism, fuddy-duddyism: They’re all reasons why the winningest artist in Grammy history lost album of the year yet again, this time to Harry Styles.
6:59 p.m. “I need a pretty lady,” Fantasia Barrino says as she comes down onto the arena floor to find someone to help her dance to “Proud Mary” in memory of Tina Turner. She finds Dua Lipa. “You!” she says. — M.W.
This barn-burner of a Tina Turner tribute is more than making up for Fantasia Barrino’s Oscar snub for “The Color Purple”; she’s a total powerhouse in any setting, but especially this one. — A.B.
Beyond the obvious talent of the performers at work here, gotta give a shoutout to Ben Winston, who took over as the Grammys’ executive producer in 2021, for his storytelling approach to these In Memoriams. He seems to view them as opportunities not just to remember but to educate. — M.W.
Taylor Swift just unveiled a new album at the 66th Grammy Awards on Sunday, and it’s not the one her fans were expecting.
6:45 p.m. The Grammys’ In Memoriam sequence begins with Stevie Wonder toasting his old pal Tony Bennett with a sprightly take on “For Once in My Life.” — M.W.
Kind of love this upbeat In Memoriam segment — only someone with the unimpeachable spiritual credentials of Stevie Wonder could pull it off, but this is the opposite of maudlin and it works. — A.B.
Annie Lennox, capping her rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” in honor of the late Sinead O’Connor: “Artists for ceasefire — peace in the world.” — M.W.
6:32 p.m. Welp, leave it to Taylor Swift to turn a Grammy speech into a announcement of a new album. Accepting the award for pop vocal album, she just revealed that her latest LP, “The Tortured Poets Department,” is due out April 19.
By the way, “The Tortured Poets Department” will be the ninth album (including her rerecorded versions of her old work) that Swift has released since 2019. Absolutely psychotic. — M.W.
6:30 p.m. I like U2. I like the Sphere. I like the idea of giving Grammy viewers a glimpse inside this building without their having to spend hundreds of dollars. What I do not like is “Atomic City,” quite possibly the corniest song U2 has ever released. — M.W.
This is Sphere’s final form — a room to watch a live concert in, full of gigantic TVs, now watched on a giant TV by a room of musicians, as seen on TV at home in your room. — A.B.
6:28 p.m. That Epstein joke from Trevor Noah is not gonna quell the Taylor/CIA conspiracy theorists. — A.B.
6:25 p.m. A paradox of Olivia Rodrigo’s career, which began with a stint as a Disney child actor, is that she’s a better performer in person than she is on TV. This fake-blood-drenched rendition of “Vampire” was OK but lacked the conviction she had in her voice a few months back when I saw her sing it at L.A.’s Theatre at Ace Hotel. — M.W.
Congrats, I suppose, to Olivia for holding the CBS prime-time line and not letting “fame f—er” slip out on live TV. — A.B.
Nominated for six Grammy Awards, 20-year-old Olivia Rodrigo is set to embark on her first-ever arena tour: ‘I need to work on my death-metal scream.’
6:19 p.m. SZA’s “Snooze” is named best R&B song, a win that keeps alive my hope that she takes album of the year with “SOS” later on. — M.W.
“I’m not an attractive crier” — the only false thing SZA’s said all night. Always a treat to see an important young artist watch her place in music history come into view when she wins big. — A.B.
Vegas is known for its Egyptian pyramids, dancing fountains, fake Rome. A spherical building broadcasting eyeballs takes the surreal up a notch.
6:12 p.m. The award for country album goes to “Bell Bottom Country” by Lainey Wilson, who’s probably been mainstream Nashville’s biggest success story over the last 18 months or so. Her style is polished yet quirky — kind of a midpoint between Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Music Row is already all in on Wilson; I’ll be interested to see if this win — which comes after a year in which country music burned up the charts but which also saw Maren Morris back away from the genre— establishes a place for her closer to the center of pop. — M.W.
6:00 p.m. “Why you acting like you don’t know this song?” Miley Cyrus asks an evidently dead room as she glides through “Flowers” — first as a yacht-rocking disco jam then as a Tina Turner-style soul-rock rave-up. — M.W.
The L.A. Times has a healthy relationship to numbers, and they excite us but do not define us either, Miley. — A.B.
5:58 p.m. About an hour in, this ceremony feels like it’s moving quickly but not hurriedly — perhaps the best an awards show can do? (I realize I’m jinxing us here.) — M.W.
5:51 p.m. Billie Eilish will always be a Grammy fave because she’s a young person who knows how to do old-person things. Case in point: This typically spellbinding performance of “What Was I Made For?” that sounds — and looks — like something Barbra Streisand might’ve done 60 years ago at the Bon Soir. — M.W.
Got a sneaking suspicion that “What Was I Made For?” is going to have resonance well beyond the actual “Barbie” movie as time marches on and the memes slip into the ether. Absolutely timeless song, as good as anything Finneas and Billie’s ever written, a total testament to their craft in whatever setting it’s dropped in. — A.B.
5:44 p.m. Not sure whether this very busy performance of SZA’s “Kill Bill” — a black-leather riff on the Quentin Tarantino swordswoman flick — is doing the most for SZA’s wonderfully vulnerable singing. But I suppose being the year’s most-nominated (and most deserving!) act at the Grammys means you get to live out the onstage fantasy of your dreams. — M.W.
Having your own personal swordswoman as a security detail will be the must-have accessory for music’s A-list this year. — A.B.
5:38 p.m. I still haven’t unraveled one of the Grammys’ big mysteries this year, which is why the música urbana album category only had three nominated works. But even with a few more LPs in the mix, Karol G would likely have won: The Colombian singer had a huge 2023, and her “Mañana Será Bonito” demonstrates the kind of stylistic range the academy always respects. — M.W.
5:35 p.m. I wonder if anyone onstage is going to acknowledge Killer Mike being detained tonight. At a time when prosecutors are using rap lyrics to build a case against Young Thug, it’s a pretty rough look to be arresting a rapper backstage on one of the biggest nights of his career. — A.B.
Rapper Killer Mike has been released from police custody, hours after he was detained at the 2024 Grammy Awards and escorted out by police on Sunday.
5:25 p.m. Very cool and generous of Tracy Chapman to show up and do “Fast Car” with Luke Combs. After all the sniping about who has a right to make money off that incredible song, Combs looks over the moon to be playing it live with its author, and Chapman is getting her flowers all over again in a whole new context here. Jelly Roll is losing it singing along in the crowd too. Score one for genuine intergenerational admiration. — A.B.
Combs sounds great, but I am loving watching him sing along off-mic as he watched Chapman take the lead. — M.W.
5:21 p.m. Miley Cyrus, who’s been in show business since she was a teenager, wins her first Grammy for pop solo performance with “Flowers.” I’m into this choice: I’ve heard “Flowers” probably 250 times and I still haven’t gotten sick of the way her voice scrapes against the song’s slick disco-soul groove. — M.W.
5:14 p.m. Taylor’s late entrance kind of iconic tbh. — M.W.
Ragging on Spotify and TikTok for ripping off artists, courting big applause for Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell — Trevor Noah just coursing with righteous boomer energy right now. — A.B.
5:13 p.m. Gonna be really funny when Jon Batiste wins AOTY and obliterates everyone’s Year of the Woman pre-written takes. — A.B.
5:11 p.m. Meryl Streep is in the house, and if you’re wondering why one of Hollywood’s grande dames is at the Grammys, you should know that her daughter Grace Gummer is married to Mark Ronson, who’s nominated for a bunch of awards with his music from “Barbie.” — M.W.
5:08 p.m. Big look for Dua Lipa, who opens the show with a sex-dungeon-ish medley of her latest singles, “Training Season” and “Houdini.” The singer recently told The Times that she was moving away from disco for her upcoming album — but it sure doesn’t sound like it yet. — M.W.
Not fair that Dua Lipa is both such an excellent dancer and podcaster, really incompatible skill sets there but life’s unjust like that. — A.B.
5:02 p.m. And we’re off. First rain-in-L.A. joke arrives approximately 12 seconds into the show courtesy of host Trevor Noah. — M.W.
4:58 p.m. Sign of the times: The Recording Academy’s official YouTube feed from the red carpet just showed an uninterrupted 90 seconds or so of Taylor Swift making her way inside the building. — M.W.
4:32 p.m. Reading the tea leaves from the Premiere Ceremony, I’d say Boygenius and Victoria Monét are both in strong positions — maybe stronger than I thought this morning — as we head into the telecast. Boygenius’ wins in the rock and alternative categories suggest that voters still attached to guitars have lined up behind the supergroup that features Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker; SZA and Bridgers’ taking pop duo/group performance with “Ghost in the Machine” signals still more love for Bridgers. And Monét’s win for R&B album shows she might have the allegiance of the academy’s sizable soul-music contingent. — M.W.
4:19 p.m. Producer of the year, non-classical goes to Jack Antonoff, who wins based on his work with Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and the 1975 — and who becomes the first producer to win this award three times in a row since Babyface did it in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Of his time in the studio with Del Rey, he said, “I can’t believe how weird it gets in there and how your brain takes it to these most amazing places.” He also thanked Swift for opening doors for him as a producer by recruiting him to work on her album “1989.”
Is Antonoff’s win a sign of support among voters for Swift’s latest LP, “Midnights,” which is up for album of the year later tonight? Among his competition for the producer prize was Dan Nigro, who oversaw another album contender in Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts.” — M.W.
4:02 p.m. Drake was nominated for four Grammys this year — the categories in question were handed out during the Premiere Ceremony, and he didn’t win — but the superstar rapper used his Instagram story on Sunday afternoon to air out some thoughts on the subject.
“All you incredible artists remember this show isn’t facts,” he wrote beneath a video clip of himself accepting the rap song award for “God’s Plan” at the 61st Grammys in 2019. He added that “it’s just the opinion of a group of people who’s name are kept a secret” and offered “congrats to anybody winning anything for hip hop but this show doesn’t dictate s— in our world.” — M.W.
Joni Mitchell’s surprise performance at the Newport Folk Festival was just what we needed — a reminder that joy trumps despair every time.
“I don’t know what to say about this,” Mitchell, 80, told the crowd as she accepted the award. “We had so much fun at that concert, and I think you can feel it on the record. It’s a very joyous record because of the people that I played with, and the spirit of the occasion was very high.” Flanked by Brandi Carlile, who helped organize the Newport show — and will rejoin Mitchell at the Hollywood Bowl for a pair of concerts in October — the beloved songwriter added: “Even the audience sounds like music.”
Mitchell is set to perform later this evening on the Grammys telecast, her first time playing the show. — M.W.
3:20 p.m. One of the power couples of American politics now has four Grammys between them: Michelle Obama won the award for audio book, narration and storytelling recording with “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.” It’s the former first lady’s second Grammy after the spoken word prize she won in 2020. Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has two spoken word Grammys — one for “The Audacity of Hope” and one for “Dreams from My Father.” — M.W.
3:05 p.m. As anything but a jazz specialist, I have my misgivings about the alternative jazz award the academy is handing out for the first time this year. (Decades into the life of alternative rock, does that marketing term mean anything more than it ever has?) That said, I’m always happy to see Meshell Ndegeocello get a moment in the sun, as she just did with her win for “The Omnichord Real Book.” — M.W.
2:45 p.m. Three big wins for Boygenius: rock performance and rock song for “Not Strong Enough” — which beat tunes by the Rolling Stones, Metallica and Foo Fighters, among others — and alternative music album for “The Record,” which bested LPs from acts including Gorillaz and Lana Del Rey.
For rock album, meanwhile, Paramore’s “This Is Why” triumphs over Foo Fighters’ “But Here We Are” — a definite surprise to me, given the Foos’ long dominance of the category and the recent death of drummer Taylor Hawkins. — M.W.
On the eve of a new EP, the members of Boygenius reflect on their breakthrough year, closing their tour at the Hollywood Bowl and their Grammy heroines.
2:35 p.m. Every time Metallica is up for a Grammy I have flashbacks to the time Jethro Tull beat the band for best hard rock/heavy metal recording in 1989 in one of the most questionable upsets in the awards’ history. Grammy voters have rectified this in subsequent decades and on Sunday Metallica picked up the best metal performance Grammy for “72 Seasons.” Bassist Robert Trujillo showed up to accept the award because he lives locally.
“Keep those instruments in your hands. Let’s keep the youth making music and keeping the dream alive,” Trujillo ended his speech with a spirited yell. — V.F.
2:20 p.m. “It is a sweep!” a very sweaty Killer Mike declares, and so it is: The 48-year-old Atlanta rapper just took the awards for rap performance, rap song and rap album. Can’t say Mike’s music moves me as much as some of his competitors’, but I love his framing of his victory as proof that you can never be too old to rap. — M.W.
2:06 p.m. Victoria Monét’s taking R&B album with “Jaguar II” — a win that required her to beat Babyface, a longtime Grammy fave — bodes well for her chances in the bigger categories, including best new artist. — M.W.
2:00 p.m. Theron Thomas wins songwriter of the year on the strength of his work with Lil Durk, Tyla, Jung Kook and others — and the man couldn’t seem more pumped about it. (Two Red Bulls, you think? Three?) This is just the second time the songwriter award has been handed out, after Tobias Jesso Jr., a frequent Adele and Harry Styles collaborator, took it last year. — M.W.
1:40 p.m. Nice to see the oft-nominated Brandy Clark finally win a Grammy with the Americana performance prize for “Dear Insecurity,” her moving duet with Brandi Carlile, whose role as producer of the singer’s self-titled 2023 album may finally have tipped the academy Clark’s way. — Mikael Wood
Clark, an in-demand Music Row songwriter as well as a Tony nominee for ‘Shucked,’ teamed with Brandi Carlile for her new, more Americana-leaning album.
1:10 p.m. “Barbenheimer” has invaded the Grammys.
“Barbie” notched its first wins of the day for best compilation soundtrack for visual media for “Barbie: The Album” and best song written for visual media for “What Was I Made For,” written by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell.
“This is shocking to me. I was expecting to turn right around and leave,” Eilish said as she accepted the award with her brother.
O’Connell noted that their dad worked as a construction worker at Mattel during their childhood.
Meanwhile, “Oppenheimer” composer Ludwig Göransson won best score soundtrack for visual media for “Oppenheimer.” — V.F.
Director Greta Gerwig asked the singer-songwriter for ‘Barbie’s heart song — the song that is deep inside her core that she doesn’t even completely know is there.’ The result made her cry.
12:35 p.m. Greetings, music fans! We’re gearing up to cover the 66th Grammy Awards. Will Taylor Swift finally win song of the year? Will she break the record for album of the year wins with “Midnights”? Will we find out a release date for “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)”?
The main show starts at 5 p.m. Pacific, but first, we’ll keep you posted on the big highlights from the Premiere Ceremony, which will award dozens of genre and technical Grammys. We’ll be updating the winners throughout both ceremonies.
The Premiere Ceremony is getting things started with Sheila E., Larkin Poe, Pentatonix and Jordin Sparks,performing Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” As someone who used the same song to start off my wedding reception, I can tell you it’s a smart choice to inject energy into the early ceremony. — Vanessa Franko
It's a date
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